Are you planning on traveling to the Bahamas? If you are, you might be wondering about the types of sharks in the Bahamas. But regardless of whether you’re concerned about swimming in the ocean or are looking to sign up for a swim with sharks Bahamas experience, it’s important to know that the archipelago nation has all sorts of creatures swimming around in the water.
From tiger sharks to lemon sharks and oceanic white tips, depending on where you are in the country, you have a good chance of seeing one of many different types. That said, one species you’ll want to go out of your way to see are nurse sharks.
In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the many types of sharks in the Bahamas that you can see. We’ll also highlight the Compass Cay sharks, which are the animals you swim with on a swim with nurse sharks Bahamas experience.
Read on to get started!
Types of Sharks in the Bahamas: What to Know
As mentioned, there are many different types of sharks in the Bahamas – around 40, to be exact. This ensures that you have a good chance to see some while you’re exploring the country.
Most of the sharks you’ll run into swimming alongside the beach or out in the ocean aren’t dangerous. Lemon sharks, Caribbean reef sharks, and Great Hammerheads are some of the many species you can see that you shouldn’t be afraid of. In fact, even some of the more dangerous sharks in the Bahamas, like tiger sharks and bull sharks, aren’t as scary or threatening as pop culture makes them out to be.
Movies like Jaws have sensationalized sharks to the point where many people now fear getting in the ocean at all. However, while sharks are predators, they’re often just curious, and most attacks occur on account of misunderstandings.
By getting up close and personal with sharks and signing up for a Bahamas swim with sharks experience, you can learn more about the magnificent animals and appreciate the fact that they aren’t man-eating machines.
Nurse Sharks: The Couch Potatoes of the Ocean
As mentioned, the Bahamas is home to many shark species, but one that’s easy to observe up close is nurse sharks. Known as the couch potatoes of the ocean, nurse sharks are famous for being relatively harmless and docile.
Unlike other sharks that swim around the waters looking for things to eat, nurse sharks primarily congregate on the ocean floor. During the day, you can see them in sluggish groups of up to 40 individuals, all of them moving slowly and lethargically. At night, however, is when they become active. The dark evening hours are when they start prowling along the seafloor looking for food, which can include lobsters, sea urchins, and small rays.
While there are many types of sharks in the Bahamas, the nurse shark is one species you can observe safely.
Exuma Sharks: How’d They Get There?
While you can find nurse sharks throughout the waters of the Bahamas, there’s one place where you’re guaranteed to see them: Compass Cay. But how did the Compass Cay sharks get to where they are today, and why are you certain to see them?
Compass Cay is one of the islands of the Exumas, a chain of 365 islands found to the south of Nassau. The owner of the local marina happens to be a shark lover and, over the years, has managed to “tame” a school of nurse sharks. Today, there are several dozen sharks swimming around the marina waters, ranging from small youngsters to massive, 10-foot adults.
On account of its aquatic residents, Compass Cay has become something of a shark-lovers paradise. It receives thousands of visitors each year and has even been featured in shark documentaries.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
Although there are many types of sharks in the Bahamas, you’ll probably want to go swimming with nurse sharks instead of some other species. However, while they are docile and almost never bite humans, there are some safety tips you’ll want to keep in mind.
It might sound obvious, but you’ll want to avoid grabbing on to them. Likewise, waving your hands in front of them, touching their gills, or provoking them in any way increases the chances of an accident happening. Treat them with the respect they deserve to ensure that the Exuma sharks experience is as amazing as it should be.
Before you enter the water, the guides will give you further safety instructions to follow while swimming with the Compass Cay sharks. Listening to what they say is essential, as they’ve been interacting with tourists and the Exuma sharks for years.
Keep in mind that if you don’t feel like swimming alongside them, you can always choose to watch them from outside of the water. Regardless of whether you choose to hop in next to them or stay on land, the experience will be a memorable one!
Other Animals to See in the Area
Many people wondering about the different types of sharks in the Bahamas end up loving the swimming with sharks Bahamas experience. However, if you’re an animal lover, you’ll be pleased to know that the Compass Cay sharks aren’t the only creatures to see in the region.
Located in close proximity to Compass Cay is the island of Big Major Cay, home to the famous Exuma Pigs. These pigs have inhabited an island devoid of human residents for years. While you might think that this would make them shy and reclusive, the opposite has been the case,
Over the years, residents from nearby islands have traveled to Pig Beach to feed the pigs. That’s conditioned them into associating the arrival of boats with food. Because of that, when you pull up to Big Major Cay today, you’ll find the pigs to be friendlier and more sociable than you could ever imagine.
While the Exuma pigs might not count as one of the types of sharks in the Bahamas, they’re worth a visit nonetheless.
The Northern Bahamian rock iguana is one of the many species that have, unfortunately, seen its numbers decline in recent years. However, conservation efforts have managed to preserve and protect the species, creating sanctuaries throughout the country. Today, one such place is Bitter Guana Cay.
When you pull up to the island, you’ll see the iguanas slither out from the tropical foliage. Beautiful and prehistoric-looking, the animals are a sight to behold. Observing them, given their conservation status, makes the experience even more of a delight!
Swim With Nurse Sharks Bahamas: The Experience of a Lifetime
Sharks have a bad reputation, but for the most part, it’s undeserved. While there are many types of sharks in the Bahamas, few are dangerous, and those that are simply require you to respect them and be smart.
Swimming with nurse sharks is something that you get to do when you sign up for a day trip with Bahamas Air Tours. Doing so lets you enjoy an exhilarating experience while learning more about the amazing animals around you. Plus, you also get the opportunity to see some of the other residents of the Exumas, including the Exuma pigs and an endangered species of iguana.
Sign up for a day trip today to allow your shark fantasies to become a reality!
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